The CUTTY SARK tall ships

Since the 80's, tall ships gathering are on the increase and attract more and more crowd who (re)discover maritime heritage.

Brest 1992

Bordeaux 23 July 1990

Antwerp 1993

Rouen 1999

The CUTTY SARK tall ships race is organised every year since the International Sail Training Association. "The aim of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races is to enable young people of all nations to race together at sea under sail, experience the thrills and challenges of racing, and to let them make friends regardless of nationality or background". The trophy, a silver model of the famous clipper, is awarded on the vote of the captains and crews of all the vessels in the fleet to the vessel, which has done the most to help foster international understanding and friendship during the races. In 2001, 108 vessels from 20 different countries have sailed between Antwerp and lesund.

 According to International Sail Training Association rules, a tall ship is a ship able to sail without engine help and greater than 9,14 m (30 feet) of length.  From 2001 race, classification is composed as following:

class A: All square-rigged vessels. Fore and Aft rigged vessels of 160' (48.8m) Length Overall (LOA) and over.

class B: Fore and Aft rigged vessels between 67' (20m) and 160' (48.8m) Length Overall (LOA).

class C I: All gaff rigged vessels of less than 67' (20m) LOA not racing with spinnakers and all vessels built before 1939 not already included in Classes A and B.

class C II: All Bermuda rigged vessels of less than 100' (30.5m) LOA not racing with spinnakers.

class C III: All vessels of less than 100' (30.5m) LOA racing.

SEDOV is with no doubt the largest tall ship of the world: 109 m long, this 1921 four masted barque carried nitrate under German flag ; USSR receives her in 1949 as war reparations. 70 crew and 160 cadets work on 4200 sq. m of sail.
official site:
More less known, the full rigged ship MIR , built at Gdansk in 1987, sails for the St Petersburg maritime school.
In 1926, the barque PADUA rejoins Ferdinand Laeisz fleet of nitrate carriers, then carries Australian corn from 1932 and becomes famous for her quick crossings. Given to USSR in 1946, she takes the name of KRUZENSTERN . 104 meters long, with a crew of 160 cadets, she sails now with Estonia's flag.

KRUZENSTERN cover with PAQUEBOT cancellation


DAR MLODZIEZY (Youth's gift) replaces in 1982 DAR POMORZA , became museum. DAR POMORZA is bought in 1929 by the Navy school in Gdynia by Pomorze (Pomerania) inhabitants . 94,5 m long with her bowsprit, she wins Operation Sail in 1972 et 1980.
DAR MLODZIEZY measures105,4 m overall and is rigged with 28000 sq. m of sail.



TOVARITCH II has replaced the first one, sunk by German aircraft in August 1943. TOVARITCH I was built in 1892 with four masts, 86,7 m long and bought in 1919.
TOVARITCH II is a three masted barque of 82,10 m overall, built in 1933 in Hamburg under Gorch Fock name, fitted for 246 crew ; Odessa is now her port of registry.


is a three masted barque of 101 meters built in 1938 to replace the first one from 1882.

EAGLE , three masted barque of 89,10m overall, is owned by US coast guards ; she is former Horst Wessel built in Hamburg by the same yards as Gorch Fock I ( TOVARITCH II ); her crew is composed of 12 officers, 387 staff members and an average of 150 cadets. 

The Argentina's full-rigged ship LIBERTAD  is 103 m long overall. Launched in 1956, she beats a speed record in her 1966 North Atlantic crossing at 18 knots.
CUHAUTEMOC ,a 90,50 m length overall three masted barque sails alternatively in Atlantic and in Pacific with a hundred trainees. SIMON BOLIVAR is launched in 1980 for Venezuelan navy in Spain with 23 sails of a cumulated area of 1650 sq. m.
official site:


Built at Cadiz , ESMERALDA   is a Chilean four masted schooner of 93 meters, sister-ship of JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO. Her 29 sails cover 2870 sq. m and her maximum speed is 17,5 knots.
-76 m long, 2000 sq. m of sail- is the first of 4 three masted barque built in Bilbao with GUAYAS (Ecuador), SIMON BOLIVAR (Venezuela) and CUHAUTEMOC (Mexico). 



JUAN SEBASTIAN DE EL CANO is a four masted schooner rigged with topsails of 106,8 m long with 20 sails of a cumulated area of 3150 sq. m.
Built between 1925 and 1928 in Cadiz, modernised in 56 and 78, she has participated to several races, covering 275 miles in 24 hours.
Issued of Neapolitan yards in 1930, the full-rigged ship AMERIGO VESPUCCI 101 m long has for port of registry La Spezia and celebrated in 2001 her 70 years under Italian navy flag.
official site:

NIPPON MARU  II (on left side) is an exact replica of the four masted barque NIPPON MARU  I retired of service.
Based in Tokyo, she carries 2800sq m of sail on 110,10m overall.
official site:

E 83,8 m long , GORCH FOCK II  is a three masted barque with 69 crew and 200 cadets.
The three masted schooner MERCATOR  of 78,5m length overall, has been transformed in 1963 into a floating museum at Ostend but sails again today. F

Recognisable with red crosses on her sails, the Portuguese three masted barque SAGRES II was launched in 1937 for the Reichsmarine as Albert Leo Schlageter, sister-ship of Tovaritch II and Eagle: on 89,50 m long overall,  243 crew including 80 trainees work on her 1935 sq. m of sail.

STATSRAAT LEHMKUHL is a steel three masted barque, a 98 m long former German training ship of 1914, gone under  Norwegian in 1922.
official site:

The full-rigged ship  CHRISTIAN RADICH has the name of a Norwegian benefactor who allows her building in 1937: 73,50 m long,16 crew and 88 cadets work on her. Restored after the war, her participation in 1956 to the movie "Windjammer" make her famous.


Two former lightships: EUROPA and HUMBOLDT . EUROPA , under the name of FS Senator Brokes, moored at the Elbe river mouth. Now she is rigged as a three masted barque of 55,10 m length under Netherlands flag. FS Reserve Sondenburg sails in North Sea and Baltic from 1906 to 1986. Transformed in a German three masted barque of 62,5 m, ALEXANDER von HUMBOLDT is recognisable to her green sails.


Danmark1.jpg (18782 octets)

49 m long , ISKRA II , built at the naval shipyards in Gdansk in 1982 has different riggings on each one of her three masts. The foremast has a square sail, the mainmast an auric sail and the mizzenmast a Bermuda sail. On this sail ship, trainees may practise with different kinds of rigging.. DANMARK , a three masted barque is launched in 1932 ; refugee in United States in 1939,  she allows to train about 5000 cadets before coming back to Copenhagen. She welcomes today 80 cadets on board.


SHABAB OMAN (Youth's of Oman) is a former 1971 Scottish training ship, bought in 1979: this three masted schooner is 52,10 m long. At the difference of the main other sail training ships, in steel, her hull is made of wood. SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL is a steel topsail schooners launched in 1966 for the Sail Training Association: her crew of 50 comprises 39 trainees.



Two class C II ships: ASGARD II and ZENOBE GRAMME  
The training ship ASGARD II was built in 1981 ; 104' long , this brigantine has 372 sq. m of sail.
Rigged as a Bermuda ketch , ZENOBE GRAMME is 28,15 m long and she has 231,30 sq. m of sail. Her crew is composed of 2 officers, 7 NCO's, 6 sailors. This sailing ship carried out several research missions, investigating undersea acoustic problems, currents and other phenomena.
Today Zenobe Gramme serves as school- and trainingship for officers



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Page creation on 17 December 2001
Update 24 August 2003
Update 28 January 2007
Update 15 October 2007